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5-3: "Tea Leaves" 2012.04.01


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#151

Libby1975

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 3:22 AM

It's a good point that Don's secretary is often significant to the greater story (Peggy, Megan, Jane and Joan are the obvious ones who have filled that chair, while the one Don was banging who later had a breakdown over it and Lois the foot-mower did so too for a while and who could forget Blankenship?) so it would be quite consistent if Dawn had an important role later. I can't help but wondering if the similar sounding Dawn/Don is going to be the source of some kind of fateful mixup at some point, although that would be pretty low-brow by MM standards.

I think that Ginsberg seems like a caricature of a Jewish person in the 60's rather than a real person. The loud jacket, the loud voice, the over the top attitude. I expected him to head to the Friar's club. I have never met anyone in real life who is like that.

Yeah, being Jewish and actually knowing Jewish men of that era, I didn't even get that the guy was supposed to be acting like that because of being Jewish. I thought he was just an obnoxious, sexist dope. He wasn't even Borscht Belt, he was just a schmuck.


Not being American I have no idea what the stereotypes regarding Jewish people of this era were, so this is fascinating. I just thought he was a weird, inappropriate, gauche, clueless putz [and yes, I realize that last word is yiddish.] As to the scene with his father, was that one of New York's tenement buildings, the ones that still exist on the Lower East Side? And while the father might not have been a Holocaust survivor, with that accent he could well be a refugee who got out just before the war.

Megan is a beautiful woman whose outfits this season often let her down. The bra she sports in her "come to Fire Island" scene with Don was godawful, and I still haven't managed to scrub the memory of those granny panties from E3 outta my mind. I know the clothes then were vile, but recalling Trudy's pink flamingo/ marshmallow getup from when she was pregnant, and all they have done to January Jones who was NEVER that fat, even when she was expecting, it all makes me wonder if they just want these women to look ridiculous.

I'm not going to lie, the scene with Betty getting out of the tub. Yikes.


Was that a body double perhaps? The actress looked genuinely beefy, and not in a "Jimmy Glick" fat-makeup way.

Edited by Libby1975, Apr 2, 2012 @ 3:32 AM.


#152

skyscapes

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 3:42 AM

There was entirely too much Betty in this episode.


And Betty would agree with you.

The problem with the episode is that it asks me to believe that Betty, a woman who has traded on her beauty her entire life and is very proud of it,
would gain pounds by the truckload in a few short months and would do nothing about it.


As I have cause to know, hypothyroidism doesn't just bring weight gain. Your entire metabolism slows down. It comes on slowly, you feel sluggish mentally and physically even before the pounds pile on. The symptoms are similar to depression and reactive depression can be a side effect. Thyroid function might have been falling for a while before you notice anything.

The upside is that as soon as you have thyroid replacement therapy you bounce right back. This makes it a good choice of illness for Betty because a quick return to normal weight is believable, even without diet pills.

Edited to add - It now seems that half the people I know are on thyroxin.

Edited by skyscapes, Apr 2, 2012 @ 3:55 AM.


#153

ChicagoCita

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 3:46 AM

There was entirely too much Betty in this episode.


True, that.

Perhaps the older actor who resembles Michael Ginsberg/Ben Feldman is David ("Wouldn't You Like To Be A Pepper, Too?") Naughton?

#154

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:07 AM

I love that the girl talking to Don about Brian Jones' effect on her didn't realize she was actually talking to Manhattan's former Brian Jones. And Don knew she didn't... but he's so cool - that it was okay.

On Dawn being given minor "token black" time, compared to Ginsburg's scenes tonight: In effect, Dawn, as a negro character, got some coverage in the first episode (when Ginsburg got none) And from what I understand it won't be her last. I expect they are going to give the Civil Rights Movement its deserved spotlight this season. This isn't Walking Dead, after all (thank God).

Usually I loathe over-the-top... but I think Ginsburg looks like Rob Morrow, and hence have a huge crush on him. And many a wunderkind is driven by ADHD, thus given to occasional boundary issues and extreme enthusiasm.

And outside of his first few sentences to Peggy - I can totally identify with him: TMIing, and then spinning gaffs into hire-worthy attributes. How did that go again...? "I insulted you because I'm honest. And I lied because I wanted to impress you" ... or something? Anyway, I am completely charmed by and smitten with him.

I am a Betty with a Don who I still call when I need to hear it'll all be okay. No, I mean that is literally what he says. So m take is that it is not so much that she is still in love with Don - she just misses parts of her first marriage. But then, I actually love my Henry, so I dunno.

Edited by repag, Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:38 AM.


#155

contessakitty

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:24 AM

I thought that actor who played Michael Ginsberg looked like Tom Hulce (Boone) in Animal House. That same kind of self-depreciating humor. And for those who said it was a Jewish caricature, I don't agree. If he was a NY Jew, being loud and in your face is completely accurate. I have a lot of that type in my own family. And his father, I wasn't thinking Holocaust. I was thinking, like my grandfather, that he left Eastern Europe because of pogroms. Even his accent was the same as my grandfather. But it's strange that the father liked the Boston Red Sox. At that time, my father was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and was bitter when they went to California. I think it would be more realistic if the father was a Brooklyn Dodgers or Yankee fan or even a Mets fan. What I found interesting was how the father stressed that Michael should be with a woman or have a woman. In my gut that was something significant, either he can't commit or have a relationship...or maybe he doesn't want girls.

As for Betty's tumor...my grandmother had nodes on her thyroid and at that time one had thyroid surgery for that problem. She was hypothyroid and I inherited that. So I think with Betty it was completely realistic.

Edited by contessakitty, Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:27 AM.


#156

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:50 AM

Stones sing Rice Krispies

And for those who said it was a Jewish caricature, I don't agree. If he was a NY Jew, being loud and in your face is completely accurate. I have a lot of that type in my own family.

Yeah, I was thinking he was like my own - or any first generation - immigrant relatives - by American middle-class standards a little gauche and loud. Mine were Catholic, but Polish. Maybe an Eastern European thing?

#157

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 4:51 AM

Good call on the Rob Morrow/Ginsberg character.

As others here, I was offended by the offhand way that ANY malfunction of the thyroid can cause MASSIVE weight gain in short amounts of time. I gained 30 lbs. over a summer. I know a woman who gained 90 lbs. before her dx. What sucks is that I cannot take the meds I need to in order to drop weight. JJ was fit in 6 weeks, so they'll remove her thyroid and get her on syntroid, early 30's, weight melts. IF she can tolerate the dose. But I doubt even Weiner would go that far into a thyroid storyline. Betts will be back into her "incredible closet" in no time flat.

I lost a ton of thought here (the glitches are killing me), but to summarize, I think the new guy echoes Don's entree into the ad world. Who knows if Ginsberg actually did that ad? He impressed. Of course, Peggy wasn't drunk, but neither was Roger when he finally hired Don. And so it goes...

#158

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 5:00 AM

There was an awful lot of food/ body imagery this episode, and I don't just mean Betty's issues. "Your plate is full" Don said to Peggy, compelling her to go through books and toss a few aside with "too fat, too thin." We also had stoned Harry scarfing the White Castle burgers inbetween bitchy comments about his family. "Eat first," is his advice. There was also dinner (Don, Megan and the clients) and suggestions of dinner (Harry to Don) but they are constant background on this. Sally eating an ice-cream with her mom though, have we ever seen that before? If anything I recall Sally being scared to eat ice-cream with Gene in case her mom hit the roof, and Gene telling her how Betty's mom would make her walk home when she got too pudgy.

occasional boundary issues and extreme enthusiasm.


Mentioning the peepshow in Times Square stood out for me as the champion Inappropriate Thing To Say in A Job Interview, as well as the kind of thing that recalls a reality I have never encountered first hand, so long ago was that consigned to history.

I didn't understand the exchange that followed with Peggy in which she said to him words to the effect that "the fact you can turn [your craziness] on and off" was disturbing. When did he turn it off? From what I can tell he was inappropriate the first time they met and just as bad when he met Don. More hero-worshippy and less patronizing, but all whacky nonetheless.

#159

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:10 AM

Having a thyroid nodule does NOT make you automatically hypothyroid, nor does it make you gain weight. The nodule describes the structure of the thyroid not the function.

[snip]

The narrative here is that Betty was a model, as a mother she made a huge deal out of Sally's food intake and weight. Now Betty is older, gaining weight and Sally is going to have a rocking body. How will that affect Betty? Not well I'm guessing.

Edited by TWoP Mars, Apr 3, 2012 @ 12:01 AM.
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#160

ramrice

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:30 AM

The Francis House looked like a cross between the mansion from "Citizen Kane" and the Munster house--very cold and old-fashioned, dark and gloomy.

Please don't throw Don and Betty back together--they were never right for each other. Betty's problem is that she believes the fairy tale of happily ever after once she gets a man.

Not liking Peggy this season. There is no way a copywriter would be condescedning to one of the partners like that--especially in that era.

Shows without Joan are never as good.

#161

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:34 AM

This episode jarred with me. I suppose like the previous 2 episodes it was in part setting up the rest of the season, but I am missing the way most episodes are so carefully written with a nice arc from start to finish but is also part of the larger arc of the series.

It is also jarring given that only 6 or 7 months passed between seasons, and suddenly they are noticing the immense youth culture, integration of the work force, etc. They paid so little attention to these things last season. Everything this season seems out of left field. Michael seemed so inauthentic I could hardly watch him when he was on.

Oh well.

ETA: Yes, you can be hypothyroid and have nodules (me). I was surprised they didn't set up Betty's future weight loss by having her say that the doctor wants her to start taking medication (Synthroid). Then, voila, Betty can go back to looking like January Jones. Unless they want to keep Betty plump for awhile longer as part of the humanization of Betty.

Edited by BBDi, Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:49 AM.


#162

MyAimIsTrue

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:49 AM

By the way, did anyone get the vibe that Michael/his family are Holocaust survivors?


Yes, immediately, especially given his father's age and his heavy eastern European accent (because of which I couldn't fully understand the Hebrew prayer.)

Megan at 26 in 1966 is the same age as my parents. I was born in March, 1965 and my parents were most definitely of the staid 1950's than the swinging 1960's, much more like Pete and Trudy in that respect. I find the differences between Megan and my parents fascinating.

#163

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:56 AM

I think getting Don and Betty back together would also be a cheap shot for MM. And I've become a Don and Betty 'shipper this season. But the relationship I am championing is the intimacy between two people who spent over a decade together and had three children together. And I want that to be tossed right into Megan's face constantly because she's so immature and narcissistic, she won't be able to handle it. There is obviously something still there between Don and Betty and it's not going away. And if they had both had healthy psyches, they'd probably still be married. But it's like that old saying..." wherever you go, there you are". They divorced but they both took their existing baggage with them into their next marriages.

All that said, I'm really hoping Don and Betty have a wild romp in the hay this season. :). And that's coming from someone who can't hardly stand to watch shows or read about cheating spouses.

Megan's comment: " I love Sally". um yeah, Megan. You loved Sally when you played Maria Von Trapp with her on vacation in the ultimate fantasyland...California. You took care of Bobby and Gene but barely acknowledged them.

That trip and playing every other weekend step-mom to Don's Disney dad persona (typical of divorced men in those days who rarely saw their kids) is a whole lot different than parenting full time...especially parenting a moody, sullen, surly per-teen/teen who can say and do some pretty awful things. Megan won't get that at all. In fact, as Sally gets more comfortable around Megan, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of that behavior start coming out during visitation.

I thought the acting all around was superb this episode. Much better than last week. I think we'll see Dawn's story evolve. Ginsburg gave me a Eugene vibe. (Brighton Beach Memoirs). In fact, he became a writer eventually didn't he?

I was never impressed with January Jones' acting ability, but I thought she rocked this episode.

And....does Megan ever work? She was not visible in the creative bullpen at all.

Love seeing Don's head getting back in the game. Don't know what kinds of hours he's keeping, but he's more "there" and he even left wifey at home when. He went to the concert. I loved the interaction with Don and the teenybopper. Yup, I'm sure he was thinking about Sally in a f we years, but he was also asking her very probing questions, trying to get in touch with this generation and what makes them tick. Don may be older, but he's talented when he's "on" and I think he can come up with concepts that will connect with the youth culture.

#164

IDrive65

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 6:56 AM

On the other hand, Henry's anger over Don's call was chilling. It's okay to hate Don, Don was a complete and total villain with Betty, so go ahead and hate him if you want. But it seemed he was more angry that Betty had called than that Don had called to follow up.


Something in the way Henry reacted to Don's call, a hesitation or stutter, makes me think that he (Henry) didn't know that Betty had called Don at all. Not giving her the message is his childish response.

#165

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:07 AM

I love Megan. I love that she stays upbeat all the time and always tries to do and say the right thing. She may be immature (she's 26) but she has never struck me as narcissistic. She's such a refreshing change from four seasons of dour, angry Betty, and all the drama with Don's mistresses. She is trying to work hard (immerse herself in commercials and impress the fellow from Heinz.) I hope and expect Megan and Don to be happy over the long term. I'm happy to see that Don seems to have no interest or inclination to step out on her; certainly the Stones concert gave him an opportunity. Love her.

#166

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:08 AM

The fact he's interested in the death of a 57 year old baseball player in 1966 tends to argue against him being a Holocaust survivor. Unlikely he'd be following baseball in the mid 1940's if that were the case.


You're right. 100% unlikely. The baseball player was Pete Fox, who played for Boston between 1941 and 1945, and never appeared in the major leagues after 1945.


Unless the father was just making conversation, or was seeing his own mortality in someone of a probable similar age passing away. Or maybe he thought with a last name of Fox the player was Jewish. Then again my immigrant grandfather latched on to baseball like no one's business and would have been upset about a player's passing even if the player was in the game before my grandfather came to this country.

#167

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:08 AM

But it's strange that the father liked the Boston Red Sox. At that time, my father was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and was bitter when they went to California. I think it would be more realistic if the father was a Brooklyn Dodgers or Yankee fan or even a Mets fan.


Doris Kearns Goodwin. Started as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, migrated loyaties to the Sox. And Dodgers fans would NOT transfer their loyalties to the Yankees.

I want to give kudoes for "How do we give Betty a good storyline when January Jones is pregnant?" The thyroid scare(?) is brilliant and ties into the weight gain, bed rest, and all.

The thing that worries me is that treatment in 2012 is simple. Would treatment in 1966 be less... surgical?

Oh, and anything that shows off Jessica Pare is okay by me (grin).

edit, via Wikipedia:

When (Doris Kearns Goodwin) met her husband in the late 60s, she became a Red Sox fan even though her dad became a Mets fan, one of her sisters later became a Rockies fan, and her other sister stayed a Dodgers fan.


Edited by NutmegsDad, Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:17 AM.


#168

EditorKel

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:17 AM

Anyone recall if Betty had a cigarette in this epi? I don't remember seeing her smoke. Reason for the weight gain?

#169

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:17 AM

I loved Betty and Henry's new house. I would kill to have woodwork like that in my home. I loved the bathtub -- heck, I even loved the wall paper in the bathroom. I kind of loathe open concept houses. I like having separate rooms for separate functions. That's probably a taste thing.

I expect I'm supposed to read the Francis residence as being old-fashioned and out-of-date, but it reads as solid to me. Like their marriage probably will be if they can come to terms with a few things.

Can't say the same about Don and Megan or their post-war constructed apartment. Yeah, it's all shiny and modern, but you can already see the cracks.

Another Western New Yorker here and "Don" and "Dawn" are pronounced differently here so the joke also fell flat for me.

For the medically-informed, since the nodule was large enough for the doctor to feel it by palpation, would they need to surgically remove it?

Edited by Luciaphile, Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:17 AM.


#170

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:18 AM

My grandfather sounded just like Ginsberg's father in 1966 (and until he died in 1995), but he came to the US in 1919. Not every Jewish Polish/Russian/German immigrant of his age was in the Holocaust.

#171

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:24 AM

Another Western New Yorker here and "Don" and "Dawn" are pronounced differently here so the joke also fell flat for me.


I'm originally from Queens, NY and pronounce "Don" and "Dawn" differently but didn't think the joke was on the pronunciation but some underlying racism on the fact that an African-American woman was named Dawn, which indicates light. Wasn't it Roger who said "it's always darkest before the Dawn?"

#172

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:24 AM

RE: Thyroid conditions. I have hypothyroidism and yes, it can cause weight gain and depression,etc. I also had a biopsy like Betty when they found the goiters.

But was synthroid even on the market back then? Could they treat thyroid conditions in the mid-60's?

#173

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:26 AM

I would buy a reconcilation between Don and Betty down the line. Their divorce was a knee jerk reaction from Betty. The fact that the truth about Don came out and neither one spent any time processing it and how it had affected their relationship leaves lots of unresolved issues in my opinion. If they had stay together awhile, tried to work it out, then split up I would cry foul on any type of reconcilation.

#174

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:33 AM

RE: Thyroid conditions. I have hypothyroidism and yes, it can cause weight gain and depression,etc. I also had a biopsy like Betty when they found the goiters.

But was synthroid even on the market back then? Could they treat thyroid conditions in the mid-60's?


I'm also hypothyroid and have been taking Synthroid since 1985. However, my very first endocrinologist believed weight gain and thyroid issues to be an absolute myth so that's always been in the back of my mind. I think Betty was telling the truth when her biopsy results came back as benign but I agree with someone who posted upthread that Betty saw the cancer scare as a romantic death (possibly paraphrasing the original poster.)

#175

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:40 AM

The problem with the episode is that it asks me to believe that Betty ... would gain pounds by the truckload in a few short months


I can assure you that thyroid disease, including without tumors or nodules, can indeed cause extreme weight gain in quite a short time. I felt for Betty more than I ever have, because I'm there -- blonde and formerly slim. I went from one medication to two, and then to a quintupled dose of one of them, and weight started to sloooowwwwwly come off a bit.

And physicians who are not endocrinologists tend to just assume the patient has to assume blame for overeating. Poor Betty is in an even less enlightened era than now.

#176

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:45 AM

I would buy a reconcilation between Don and Betty down the line. Their divorce was a knee jerk reaction from Betty. The fact that the truth about Don came out and neither one spent any time processing it and how it had affected their relationship leaves lots of unresolved issues in my opinion. If they had stay together awhile, tried to work it out, then split up I would cry foul on any type of reconcilation.


Except that IMO, the real reason they broke up was Don's philandering, his freezing Betty out, his emotional abuse of her over the years. How many times did she ask Don to talk to her, share with her, bring her into his world? He refused. I think finding that box and finding out about his true identity was just the catalyst to move the divorce along faster. She had already contacted a divorce lawyer before finding the box. She'd already met Henry.

I agree that Don and Betty still obviously have some feelings for each other. But I'm not sure I can buy them getting back together.

#177

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:45 AM

But was synthroid even on the market back then? Could they treat thyroid conditions in the mid-60's?


My mom took thyroid medication back in the 50s. It might not have been synthroid, but there was some type of thyroid hormone replacement available. I bet they weren't as good at refining dosage. My mom said it made her feel like a speed freak and she only took it while she was trying to conceive or pregnant as a result.

I'm also hypothyroid and have been taking Synthroid since 1985. However, my very first endocrinologist believed weight gain and thyroid issues to be an absolute myth so that's always been in the back of my mind


It's not a myth. I think that's understood now. I think maybe people overemphasize weight gain as a symptom of being hypothyroid or think that if someone hasn't gained weight then they can't be hypothyroid. There are so many others (dry skin, heavy periods for women, brain fog, depression, etc). My mom, sister, and I, however, were all normal weight with an under-active thyroid.

Thyroid problems are more common in women than men, and there has been a tendency to brush off thyroid-related symptoms and complaints as psychological. Sorry, this is a digression.

#178

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:05 AM

I would buy a reconcilation between Don and Betty down the line. Their divorce was a knee jerk reaction from Betty. The fact that the truth about Don came out and neither one spent any time processing it and how it had affected their relationship leaves lots of unresolved issues in my opinion. If they had stay together awhile, tried to work it out, then split up I would cry foul on any type of reconcilation.


But it wasn't a knee jerk reaction. The season before she met Henry Betty tried to leave Don and was pretty content in doing so after some rocky transition but then got pregnant with little Gene and felt she had to take him back because raising three kids on her own was too much. She even vaguely seemed to contemplate abortion rather than going back to Don. And at that point it looked like it would be on her own Don went on his California adventure and wasn't the best Dad around then so there was no sure bet he would support them. After she took him back and was even heavily pregnant she flirted with the idea of Henry (even bought the fainting sofa) through out the entire season. She even went to him when JFK was shot, which was before the truth came out. His identity was the final straw but if it wasn't that it would have been something else. Betty had basically been trying to leave him for two seasons at that point. Sure there is some buyer's remorse there. Don is more intriguing and handsome than Henry. She wants desperately for Don to love her eventhough she can never be enough for him. But she was ready to leave and had been for sometime.

The point is that Betty IS depressed. Betty is gaining weight not because of her thyroid but because she is sitting on the couch eating Bugles. Don't read more into this episode than is there. Betty would have NEVER eaten Bugles when married to Don. Likely because she was always unsure of Don's fidelity.


I agree. Henry is a man who met her nine months pregnant and became enchanted. He just isn't the type to get angry or make comments if she gets fat. And, in a perverse way, that takes away her reason for being. Like if you have a cushy job where you can never get fired but also have no where to be promoted to you end up getting complacent. With Don she never felt like she had him.

I am NOT saying a woman's "job" is to stay fit. Not even a little bit. But, obviously, that was a huge part of Betty's identity and thought process.

Edited by Betsyb, Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:16 AM.


#179

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:19 AM

I'm pretty sure the blessing said bu Ginsburg's father was the traditional Shabbat blessing over sons, which loosely translated, is, 'May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe. May God bless you. May His face shine upon you and favor you. May God look favorably upon you and grant you peace.'

Right. Also, Shabbat is every Friday night, so while some "traditions" were being broken (hiring a Jew), others were staying the same. And I think the fathers usually bless just their small children, not the grown kids (?), so the father was in a way saying that while his son may have gotten a big new job, he'll always be his little boy.

Edited by Shira, Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:21 AM.


#180

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:21 AM

Man, Betty's story was hard for me to watch. Not because it was badly done, but because it brought back so many painful childhood memories of watching my mother deal with thyroid disease. (This was the 1970's rather than the 1960's, but close enough to look too familiar for comfort.) She suffered endless cyles of weight gain and loss, months when she couldn't stay awake more than a few hours at a time alternating with bouts of insomnia, surgeries, medication adjustments, patronizing midcentury chauvinist doctors, depression, frustration, cancer scares... from the minute the doctor did the swallow test (my doctor does that every visit, because there's so much thyroid disease in my family) I knew it was going to be a tough episode.

But was synthroid even on the market back then? Could they treat thyroid conditions in the mid-60's?


They didn't put my mother on Synthroid until the 1980's; before that she was on thyroid replacement made from animal glands. It was actually made by Armour.

All through the Heinz meeting, I kept thinking how much better Betty would have related to Mrs. Heinz.

Call me tasteless, but I adored Henry and Betty's house. Who wouldn't want a claw-foot tub the size of a swimming pool?

I think Don saw both Sally AND Megan in the girl at the concert.

I don't know if I see a reconciliation in Don and Betty's future, but an affair? I could absolutely buy that.

Edited by Scaramanga, Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:24 AM.